Monday, December 14, 2009

Today was a good day

Sorry if yesterday I sounded a little downbeat.  Some days have been better than others, but if you really take a step back, things are going great.  When I think about the kinds of things our friends have handled with strength, grace and positive attitudes, this ain't nothin'.  For goodness sake, we're agonizing about a stupid PICC line, but 75% of the NICU babies get them.  By the way, at over 6 lbs and with strength that defies velcro, The MVP is The Beast of the NICU.

We're going to look back on this not long in the future, when The MVP is cruising around the house laughing while he knocks over things we thought were securely attached and think "what the hell happened to the little guy who needed help breathing?" Anyway, today shaped up much better - I don't even know where to start. 

First off, Momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.

V-Train and I have worked out a routine for NICU visits.  We go first thing in the morning after shift change and spend time as a family, then she takes the afternoon while I drive to the pad and hit the showers, and then I take the evening until midnight or so.  This way we cover as much time with him as we can.  So I was on duty last night, and The MVP was really agitated.  For hours, I couldn't get him to calm down for long.  After his feeding I held him and he stayed awake and fussed which is very unusual (or as unusual as anything can be for a four day old baby).  After trying a number of things, the nurse finally decided that he really just seemed hungry, so she called the doctor at home at 11pm, who agreed to increase his feeding to 10cc immediately.  As of this afternoon, he's been handling that well and still acting hungry, so another increase may be imminent.

Happiness is having your stomach filled.  Or filling a diaper.  I can't yet interpret his facial expressions.

The MVP is also seeing an occupational therapist.  When I found out, I said "Great!", because it's never too early to start career planning.  But she's actually a feeding expert who is training him to eat from a bottle.  Eating requires a fairly high level of coordination -- cheeks, tongue, lips, swallow, and breath all have to work together in just the right sequence.  Today, he took down his first bottle like it was a fraternity dare -- less than two minutes for 10cc.  As a point of reference, it took him 12 minutes last night.  So after he went all Kobayashi on the milk, the OT decided to move him back to a bottle every other feeding.

After he ate, V got to hold him for nearly an hour, during which he slept and drooled.  He only woke when the velcro that holds on his Kanye glasses got stuck to the burp-cloth. 

The MVP is literally stuck on mom.

Finally, they asked us to leave so they could run the PICC line, so I returned him to the incubator.  I'm going to briefly describe the procedure used to accomplish this: the incubator has a drop-top and, if you hit the switch, you can make the ass drop.  I am not making this up.

They kicked us out for the PICC line procedure, but we're told it went great.  His PICC runs deep, so deep that they are now able to take the splint off his hand that was holding the IV steady.  By the time the procedure was over, the bilirubin results were back and they were able to take him out from the lights, and finally remove that stupid velcro.

One thing about the bili lights I wanted to mention.   The lights work by casting at a wavelength that breaks down bilirubin under the skin, allowing it to be disposed as waste by the body.  Since bilirubin is what causes the jaundice, the jaundice first disappears where the light hits.  You get one guess what that means.  Right -- baby tan lines!  I wasn't able to capture this phenomenon photographically, but trust me that it is every bit as amusing as it sounds.

Anyway, things are progressing nicely.  No lights, no velcro, no splint, full stomach, and lots of holding = happy baby.

Oh... and I didn't even have to use my AK.


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Fantastic! Keep the updates coming.